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Author Topic:   silver colored metal

Posts: 966
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-06-2003 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
    silver colored metal

I see this term frequently in European auction catalogs even tho they seem to be referring to solid silver items. Is this a form of snobbery for those items that are solid silver but below the countries standard?

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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11520
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-06-2003 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I see someone use "silver colored metal" when describing an item, I think they are just trying to be technically correct.
If they haven't found any marks, don't understand the marks or have been unable to determine precious metal content, then saying
"silver colored metal" is technically correct and the buyer can't assume precious metal.

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Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-06-2003 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess, based on experience, is the auction houses have run into enough people who will threaten law suits and ruin when something listed as 835 turns out to be 833. I have met more than enough of such people. They are closely associated with those who scream when the 8 1/4" item turns out to be 8 15/64". I no longer list anything with an exact measurement. Just say 'about' or 'approximately'. It can be very difficult to tell with a lot of old silver just what the exact composition is. So, it probably staves off a lot of grief to just say 'silver colored metal'.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1792
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-06-2003 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am always suspicious when I see this term. I have always interpreted it to be a euphemism for "white metal" (base metal) or in some cases what Scott described. If an auction house knows via marks or testing what the metal content is, it should not use vague and potentially confusing terminology like "silver colored metal".

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 11-06-2003 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Remembering auctions in England some 12 years ago, I believe that in those days nothing that did not carry official British assay office hallmarks could legally be described as silver, hence terms such as White Metal or Silver-colour etc.,and yellow metal for gold.
I understand there is now a European agreement to mutually recognise hallmarks of members of the European Union, including some historic marks, but I guess that trade description legislation still applies outside of this limited circle.

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